Selection Criteria FAQs
As an experienced and qualified selection criteria specialist and professional selection criteria writer, I am asked many questions in relation to addressing selection criteria, writing government job applications, applying for a role in the public service sector and recruitment and selection processes.
Below, I have listed a few questions and answers that may assist you in your search for new employment or a promotion.
What is merit-based selection?
Public sector legislation outlines the principles of merit-based selection and basically states that selection and promotion of employees within the public service sector should be based on the applicants’ abilities in relation to skills, qualifications, knowledge, abilities and experiences. Ideally what this means is equitable access to opportunities for promotion and career advancement.
Should I touch base with the contact officer prior to submitting my application?
YES! Contact Officers can be a great source of information about the role, the position requirements, the agency, department and the application process.
Before applying for any role within the public service sector, I would recommend touching base with the contact officer and asking them a series of questions about the position.
This will give you great insight into the role and confirm whether you should submit an application or not. If you are not sure what you should be asking them, contact me on nikky@CareerPro.net.au and I’ll email you through a few questions to get you started.
Do I need to address desirable criteria as well as essential criteria?
YES! Essential criteria are fundamental to your ability to perform the role. Desirable criteria relate to an ideal situation. However, as a job-seeker, you must address all of the selection criteria—essential and desirable.
For a highly competitive role, it can come down to how well applicants address the desirable criteria and how well they meet these.
Do I still need to write a cover letter?
In most cases, unless an agency specifies that you do not need to submit a cover letter, I would send one as part of your selection criteria statement. Writing a cover letter is a perfect sales opportunity for you to introduce yourself and highlight your unique “selling” points in order to encourage the recruiter/hiring manager to read further.
If you are preparing an application for the private sector or registering with specialist recruitment agencies, it may be appropriate for you to prepare an email cover letter, where your text is incorporated as part of the email body.
However, most public sector organisations are still rather conservative which means that sending a cover letter will strengthen your application and create an overall strong first impression.
How long should my application be?
Again, touching base with the contact officer will resolve this for you. However, if you are not able to contact them, I would usually recommend around three quarters of a page to one page per criterion response.
Usually no more than one page is required. However, use the level of role, its classification and complexity of the criteria as your guide.
Happy Selection Criteria Writing!
For an obligation free quote and assessment please feel free to contact me on nikky@CareerPro.net.au or call me on 0404 427 212
Having held a range of diverse and varied roles as Recruiter, Human Resources and Hiring Manager, and selection panel member, having sat on hundreds of selection panels, it seemed only natural that Nikky transition her passion for assisting job-seekers to establish CareerPro, a leading, professional writing business focused on helping job-seekers to effectively market and "sell" themselves to prospective employers. Through her unique writing services (selection criteria, resumes, curriculum vitae, cover/application letters) she assists clients and job-seekers locally, nationally and internationally to achieve their goals of promotion, interview and job success.
"Hi Nikky, This resume is amazing! I think that I had read similar comments to this on your website, but - I can't believe this was describing me when I was reading it! I am so happy that I decided to have you do this for me - the best investment for me for quite a while. I think that it is definitely going to be the secret weapon in obtaining a position. I am just in awe at your ability with words." DF, Bookkeeper
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DB, Client Services, Federal Government Department
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CM, Administration, Local Council
Resume is exactly what I wanted! Very professional Nikky, you are great with words. Thank you."
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JH, Administration, Local Council
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JR, Executive Assistant
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JK, Environmental Management, State Government
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KH, Business Manager, Education Sector
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RR, Entry Level Graduate, Public Sector
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MS, Registered Nurse, Allied Health Professionals, Centrelink
"Nikky, I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the personal attention that you provided as part of the development process we have been through in drafting my resume. The finished product has been a resume that presents my experience and achievements in a way that I would never have considered. You have provided a one-on-one consultancy that was most beneficial in tuning the vocabulary of my resume and skill focus for the industry I am targeting."
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Telecommunications, United Kingdom
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ID, QLD Government, Financial Controller
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AC, Business Specialist, Telecommunications
Wow and Thank you so much for this! You have done such a tremendous job. Of course you can enter it into the awards also :) I would love my resume to be a part of that as I think it is fantastic. Thanks for your wishes and I'm sure I'll get snapped up with this for sure. Good luck with your awards. Make sure you let me know how you go.”
AC, Business Specialist, Telecommunications
You are absolutely wonderful! Many thanks for ALL your assistance, hard work and guidance! Let me say that I thoroughly enjoy working with you, I’m very lucky to have you as my career CHAMPION!!!! Thank you very much for your encouragement and a warm hug back to you!!! "
IT, Marketing Executive, Tertiary Education Sector